By now, eight thousand forced refugees from the Chechen republic, who now live in refugee camps in Ingushetia, have filed applications to return to their republic, Minister for Chechnya Vladimir Yelagin told reporters at a briefing in Moscow. According to him, at the present time the Chechen government is working over ensuring housing and social guarantees to these refugees.
Vladimir Yelagin believes that the decision of the Chechen forced refugees can be explained by the change in the relations between the Chechen administration and the authorities of Ingushetia. Yelagin says: "It is an open secret that the relations between Ahmad Kadyrov (the head of the Chechen administration) and Ruslan Aushev (the former President of Ingushetia) were not good enough; the sides accused each other and did not work constructively in solving the problems of the refugees." With the election of Murat Zyazikov as the President of Ingushetia, the situation has sharply changed, believes Vladimir Yelagin. The minister reminded the audience that not long ago, for the first time since 1993, an agreement on cooperation between Chechnya and Ingushetia was signed in Grozny. "As a result, even the situation in refugee camps in Ingushetia has changed," said Vladimir Yelagin and added: "Earlier, many people from Chechnya were invited to these camps under the pretext of refugees for a certain pay."
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